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Sudan’s military rulers say coup attempt thwarted

Published: July 12, 2019
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Sudan’s military rulers said on Thursday that several officers had attempted a coup in an effort to undermine an agreement between the military and the opposition to share power for three years ahead of elections, Reuters reports.

The thwarted coup involved a number of retired officers, as well as officers still in service, Jamal Omar Ibrahim, the head of the Transitional Military Council’s security committee, said on Sudanese TV.

He added that 12 had been arrested and four detained in connection with the thwarted coup.

The military council and a coalition of opposition and protest groups agreed provisionally last week to share power for three years, bringing thousands onto the streets to hail a first step towards ending decades of dictatorship.

The deal has revived hopes for a peaceful transition of power in a country plagued by internal conflicts and years of an economic crisis that helped trigger months of protests, which ended Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule in April.

The agreement has yet to be finalised and signed.

Relations between the military council that ousted Bashir in a coup and the Forces for Freedom and Change opposition alliance broke down when security forces killed dozens as they cleared a sit-in on June 3. But after huge protests against the military, African mediators brokered a return to direct talks, which led to the deal

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The United States on Saturday welcomed a provisional agreement forged by Sudan’s ruling military council and a coalition of opposition and protest groups to share power for three years as an “important step forward.”

Sudan’s pro-democracy movement, which drove longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir from power in April, has welcomed a power-sharing agreement with the ruling military council as a victory for their “revolution.” “Today, our revolution has won and our victory shines,” the statement said. The Sudanese Professionals’ Association has spearheaded protests calling for civilian rule.

Leaders of Sudan's protests have agreed to hold direct talks with the ruling military generals after the African Union and Ethiopian mediators urged both sides to resume stalled negotiations about a new governing body.   The TMC and the opposition coalition have been wrangling for weeks over what form Sudan's transitional government should take after the military deposed long-time president Omar al-Bashir on April 11. Mediators led by the AU and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed have since been trying to broker a return to direct talks between the two sides.

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